Harder Beat Magazine Online

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler
Photo: Randy Bookout

Deathray Davies - putting on a rocking evening Photo: Jason Janik

Aerosmith/ZZ Top - Center, 7/19/09
That Lil’ Ol’ Band From Texas got the festivities started with a resounding bang that only they could deliver. Dusty, Billy and Frank looked and sounded like a band at the height of their career. They twisted off hit after hit, including “La Grange,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Just Got Paid” and an encore of the classic, “Tush.”
Aerosmith hit the stage with a wash of lights and smoke, ripping into “Eat The Rich” with fervor. Despite being riddled with injuries - Steven Tyler just recovered from a leg injury, guitarist Brad Whitford just rejoined the band after surgery and bassist Tom Hamilton was unable to perform due to a cancer-related surgery - Boston’s Bad Boys still delivered the goods. Bassist David Hull, from Joe Perry’s solo band, did an admirable job subbing for Hamilton.
Of course, the original plan of playing a short set of hits followed by the entire Toys In The Attic record was scrapped due to this, but the band still put together a great set of classics like “Walk This Way,” “Last Child,” “Train Kept A Rollin’” and the incomparable “Dream On.” Notably absent was “Sweet Emotion,” no doubt in deference to Hamilton’s misfortune. The group made up for it by bringing out Billy Gibbons for a killer blues jam on “Rattlesnake Shake” that brought the house down. (Kevin White)

Wanda Sykes - Nokia Theater, 7/1209
Comedienne Wanda Sykes, known for her brash delivery and no-holds-barred subject matter, proved that true comedic genius is all in the timing. Her hour-plus long set touched on everything from politics to race to her outwardly lesbian lifestyle, all with quick wit and masterful irreverence.
The TV star (New Adventures Of Old Christine, Curb Your Enthusiasm) had the audience rolling with tales of her own misadventures and wily observations. A highlight was an extended “study” on Erectile Dysfunction. She seemed to open herself up to the crowd with often self-deprecating bits that showed her emotional side without sacrificing her trademark attitude. (Kevin White)

Millennial Reign - Skillman St. Pub, 7/18/09
This is a new band on the scene, but not it’s members! Some of the most recognizable players in town are in Millennial Reign, starting with its amazing lead vocalist, Donny Hart (Judgement Day, Assassin, and the original vocalist for Pantera), guitarist Dave Harvey (Judgement Day, ex-Phantom X), Chris Herring and his seven-string bass and, last but not least, Wayne Stokely (Valentine Failures, Suicide Angels) on the skins!
This is a pure power/prog metal band who has amazing originals like “Falling Into Silence,” “Haunted,” “World’s on Fire” and “Man Inside the Machine” all of which sound ready for the big time. Another cool thing band is this band’s selection of cover tunes. Only hardcore metal fans will be able pick out the tunes from Vicious Rumors, Icon, Rob Rock, Malice, to name a few… and the list is ever changing.
Do yourself a favor and check these guys out. You’ll be thanking me later (I drink Bud Light). (Jeff Dennis)

Clutch - House Of Blues, 7/14/09
Nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise, but this is the single greatest live band on Earth. No pyro or special effects of any kind, Clutch plugged into their beat-up amps and opened the show with their cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking?” Then they proceeded to simply lay waste to the HOB with “The Mob Goes Wild,” “The Devil & Me,” “The Yeti,” “Animal Farm” and “Cypress Grove” among others. This band is so goddamn tight, they could each be in separate corners of the world and you could tell ‘em to play any song in their repertoire, and it would be spot-on. Every friggin’ member of this band is doing exactly what they were meant to do, and playing with the exact people they were meant to play with. When synergy like that blossoms, the only thing you can do is get completely swept up in it. F#ckin’ A. (Dale Lammers)

Yes/Asia - Bass Hall, 7/15/09
Progressive rock royalty graced the Bass Hall stage when the legendary Yes and Asia returned to Fort Worth. The original Asia - featuring guitarist Steve Howe (Yes), vocalist/bassist John Wetton (King Crimson), drummer Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and keyboardist Geoff Downes (Yes/The Buggles) - opened the show. The band sounded amazing! They played all of Asia’s major hits plus mind-blowing covers of “In the Court of the Crimson King,” “Fanfare For the Common Man” and “Video Killed the Radio Star” from each of their previous bands.
Yes showcased their new lineup of Steve Howe (doing double duty), Chris Squire (bass), Alan White (drums) and newest members, keyboardist Oliver Wakeman (son of former keyboardist, Rick Wakeman) and vocalist Benoit David. David did such a fantastic job that many fans had no idea it wasn’t really Jon Anderson. Highlights included “Roundabout,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Starship Trooper” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” An unbelievable night of great songs and stellar musicianship. (Andy Laudano)

Deathray Davies - Sons of Hermann Hall
Absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder. Maybe that’s why so many fans of the band showed up at for a rocking evening of music. It had been a long while since their last show, which only made the evening more special.
Things started out well enough, with three wonderful supporting acts (the absolutely fabulous Salim Nourallah for one). However, it wasn’t until John Dufilho took center stage, that things really kicked into high gear. Dufilho and the rest of his crew turned down the lights, cranked up the amps and rocked out.
Running through more than a dozen or so tunes - most classics to longtime fans - the evening was like a retro pop dream come true. A couple new tunes also made the bill, giving fans a taste of the upcoming studio disc.
The best song of the night was “Red Lights.” A little different from the normal retro-sixties Brit-inspired pop the band is known for, the song had a powerful wall of sound and a hyper beat, propelling it from chorus to chorus. (Jason Janik)

Tool -Nokia Theater, 7/25/09
This concert sold out in less than half an hour - 6,800 tickets. I was lucky enough to get a 15th row seat for a fairly close-up view. But, you really get the full effect best by sitting farther back. A Tool concert is totally thought provoking - the music, along with the flashing strobes, lasers and imagery takes your mind on a journey. As always, Maynard remained a silhouette, an intriguing, Mohawked figure who, for the final song, stripped down to boxers and used a megaphone as his microphone. Highlights of the two-hour set were “Schism” and “Rosetta Stoned,” with encores of “Lateralus” and “Vicarious.” (Jill Jackson)

Dagger - Something for everyone
Photo: Tasha Waymire
Dagger - O’Riley’s, 7/04/09
On July 4th, Dagger brought their own brand of fireworks to light up the stage. This group of talented guys features Bandit (vocals), Ben (guitar), Jerry (guitar), Jon (bass) and Joshua (drums). Performing classic rock hits from the 70’s, 80’s and a little 90’s, they had something for everyone. “Rock Candy” (Montrose), “For Whom The Bell Tolls” (Metallica), Sweet Child ‘O Mine (Guns and Roses), “Man In the Box” (Alice in Chains) and many other hits were performed to perfection. Dagger is a DFW powerhouse. Expect to see more and more of them in the near future. (Kim “Kimber” Polen)

Plector/Souljur/Deep South Union - Rob’s Billiards, 7/18/09
Deep South Union may be a new band, but it is made up of veteran players who know how to bring it right. Southern metal with a fat groove and a bad attitude is what DSU is all about, and the big crowd at Rob’s ate it up. Look for big things to come from this group.
Oklahoma’s Souljur slammed through a tight, powerful set that only a seasoned touring band like them could do. Drawing from influences like Pantera, Godsmack and Hatebreed, they sport an aggressive, powerful sound that is simply addicting.
Plector, a Swedish metal band on their first US tour, closed out the night with a blistering set of thrashcore. The crowd was moshing, jamming and having a great time along with the trio. The band was extremely friendly and appreciative of all the support. Here’s hoping they had a blast on their first trip to Texas. (Kevin White)

Guns 4 Roses, Hair Ballad Allstars - HOB’s Cambridge Room, 7/11/09
The venue was packed with a crowd anxiously awaiting the start of the Tribute Thursdays show. The lighting set the mood for the Hair Ballad Allstars’ acoustic set. The band is made up of DD (Poison Cherry) and Jason (Guns 4 Roses, OKC Metal Shop and Ego Tryp). The night’s favorite was “Signs,” recorded by Tesla, but originally from the rock opera Hair.
Guns 4 Roses made their entrance with “Nightrain.” It’s obvious they’ve put in a lot of time and effort to portray Guns and Roses as realistically as possible. Jason Ferchaud does a great job posing as frontman Axle Rose, thrilling females in the crowd with his dance moves as well as a clear, strong deliverance of the lyrics. Eammon, excellently portraying Slash, played an impressive solo during one of “Axle’s” wardrobe changes. Other members are Chris B. as Duff, Bradler! as Adler and Chris M. as Izzy. G4R’s 19-song set ended with “Rocket Queen” and “Paradise City,” satisfying fans’ appetite for a taste of G & R. (Jill Jackson)

Poison The Well – The Door, 7/19/09
As the headliner of the “10 For 10 tour,” Poison The Well capped off an evening of hardcore with an understated set. The crowd had a bigger appetite than the band could provide - or at least what PTW cared to. It became obvious their set was tailor made for the circle pit, when they opened with “Artist’s Rendering of Me” from breakthrough masterpiece, The Opposite of December. Although they played only the fastest and heaviest songs from each of their five, full-length albums, there was a disconnect between the band and audience. This kind of show used to be PTW’s bread and butter, but they’re no longer that band. Vocalist Jeffrey Moreira and guitarist Ryan Primack, in particular, seemed disinterested in pleasing the kids “wind milling” and “picking up change.” Hopefully next time they roll through town, PTW will play longer than 45 minutes and reach deeper in their diverse catalog. (D.J. Ivie)

A Jury of Robots - O’Riley’s, 7/25/09
To say this is a rock band is an understatement. With Sean Field’s powerhouse, thick vocals, along with JD Sims (guitar), Thomas Driver (bass and Lonnie Givens (drums), these guys are non-stop, full blown rock-n-roll robots. This night, like any other night, they owned the stage. This jury is not afraid to tell it like it is, and they let the music do the talking. Jury of Robots made their decision - to rock hard or step aside! Horns up guys! (Ramon Infante)

National Concert Calendar

8/7 No Justice - Ridglea Theater
8/7 Jay Z, Lil Wayne, more -
8/7 Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson - QuikTrip Park, Grand Praiarie, $68, 5:30 PM
8/7 Journey - Winstar World Casino - Oklahoma, $65 – $90 & up
8/8 Cruefest 2: Motley Crue, Godsmack, Drown- ing Pool, others -, $30 – $95
8/13 Glactic Cowboys - The Door
8/13 Judas Priest, Whitesnake - Nokia
8/15 Mayhem Festival with Slayer, Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, God Forbid, others -, $26 – $50
8/17 Saliva - Trees
8/20 Staind, Chevelle, Halestorm, Lo Pro - Palladium Ballroom
8/21 Def Leppard, Poison, Cheap Trick -
8/21 Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys, Bang Tango - Trees
8/22 Incubus -, $22 – $45
8/22 Hatebreed, Chimaira - Emo’s, Austin
8/28 Tantric - Trees
8/29 Depeche Mode, Peter Bjorn -
9/5 ABSU, Solitude Aeturnus - Ridglea Theater
9/8 Static-X, Mudvayne, Black Label Society, Suicide Silence, Bury Your Dead - Nokia Theatre
9/18 Britney Spears - American Airlines Center, $195 – $495 (Really?... Really!)
9/19 Motorhead, Reverend Horton Heat, Nashville Pussy - Palladium
9/22 Creed -
9/29 Metallica - American Airlines Center
10/2 Satyricon, Bleeding Through, Cthonic Toxic Holocaust - The Door
10/12 U2, Muse - Cowboys Stadium
10/4 Moby - Palladium
10/5 Rob Thomas - Nokia Theatre
10/6 Insane Clown Posse - Palladium, $28.50
10/7 Snow Patrol, Plain White T’s - Palladium
10/16 Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic -
10/16 The Black Crowes - Palladium
10/29 RevCo (Revolting Cocks) - Ridglea Theater
11/11 Powerman 5000 - Trees

All dates and bands subject to change

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